Czeczotka, Wagner, Forsberg fueled Glenn
These are glory days for the Knights.
Add Glenn to a select group of teams that have won back-to-back Long Island championships. "This is rarefied air. It's so hard to get here, it feels like a million dollars," Glenn coach Dave Shanahan said after his team's impressive 56-21 victory over Roosevelt at Hofstra on Nov. 25.
The Knights (11-1) went 12-0 last year and beat Seaford to win the first LIC in school history. Eight other teams have repeated, with Floyd the only team to win three in a row (2005-07).
"I got a million last year and a million this year," Shanahan said. "Championships form a bond and I've had a special bond with both teams."
His seniors left an indelible mark on the program and were exceptional in the finale.
Quarterback Rich Czeczotka ran for 110 yards and two touchdowns and threw for another 142 yards. Tommy Forsberg ran for 90 yards and four touchdowns and also caught three passes. Nick Wagner returned a punt 60 yards for a touchdown -- an LIC first -- returned an interception 68 yards for another score and had three interceptions, both LIC records. Jon Mannix caught five passes and Anton Swain four. Kevin Malloy made five tackles.
"This was different from last year," Wagner said. "I'm a senior and I've played with these guys my whole life. It was my last shot and we worked so hard."
Forsberg said he was "very proud of our guys" and credited the offensive and defensive lines with a dominant performance against Roosevelt. "It wasn't just me," he said. "Everyone played tremendously. Our quarterback is obviously an unbelievable athlete."
Czeczotka, 6-2 and 215, had a magnificent season that put him on the radar screen for several colleges. He passed for 1,988 yards and 25 touchdowns and rushed for 805 yards and 17 touchdowns. "He's passionate about the game and did everything he could to get better," Shanahan said.
Wagner was Czeczotka's favorite target with 39 catches for 819 yards and 15 touchdowns. He returned a punt, a kickoff and an interception for a TD and made seven interceptions.
"He's a blue-collar, lunch-pail kid," Shanahan said. "He practices the hardest of anyone on the team."
Forsberg was the leading rusher with 1,269 yards and 11 touchdowns and caught 24 passes for another 348 yards. He was a dangerous kick returner and had five interceptions. Mannix caught 32 passes for 479 yards and seven touchdowns and made 50 tackles.
"You win with kids with character and we have a lot of them," Shanahan said. They were winners, too, posting a 43-3 record over the past four seasons and making the Knights an elite team in Suffolk IV.
"I knew this was possible after we bounced back from our only loss," Czeczotka said, citing the 51-13 win over Bayport-Blue Point in Week 7 that followed a 42-28 defeat to Amityville. The Knights won their final six games and scored more than 40 in all of them, including a 42-30 redemption triumph over Amityville in the county championship.
"It's a great feeling to go out on top," Czeczotka said.
Like a million bucks.